UBS Arena interior work blast from the past


Jump Studios completes UBS Arena interiors Image: Populous

London-based architecture and interiors practice, Jump Studios, along with its parent company, Populous, has completed designing the interior of the new $1.1bn UBS Arena in Belmont Park, New York (US).

Designed by Populous, the 17,000-seat arena is home to the New York Islanders hockey team and created to be an adaptable, multiuse venue for live entertainment.

‘Populous’ stated that the venue celebrates New York and Belmont Park’s history, honoring Belmont Park’s famous racecourse and local figures and referencing iconic New York landmarks throughout the arena’s design. Through this storytelling, Jump Studios aims for UBS Arena to be more than a sport or music venue, but a complete fan experience.

Situated within the historic Belmont Park, the 17,255-seat UBS Arena is the new home to the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League (NHL). The arena was designed by Populous as a multipurpose facility to host both hockey and live entertainment.

The UBS Arena opened to the public on November 20th, 2021.

Kansas City (US)-based Populous is a global architectural and design practice specializing in sports facilities, arenas and convention centers, as well as the planning and design of major special events. Populous was created through a management buyout in January 2009, becoming independently-owned and operated.

Jump Studios (a Populous company) is an award-winning architecture and interior design practice based in London, UK. Encompassing retail, workspace, exhibition, brand experience, pop-up, restaurant, and bar design, Jump Studios has established an impressive client list including Google, Nike, Rapha, Bloomberg, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Starwood Hotels.

Working with Populous, Jump Studios has created a venue that celebrates Metro New York and Belmont Park, including its famous neighboring racecourse. The project presented an opportunity for Jump Studios to create a modern, 21st century experience for guests, while paying homage to a team and site that is steeped in history.

Jump Studios’ desire to honor the past as one journey through the arena is apparent from the outset. Fans enter the stadium through an entrance inspired by the Grand Central Station and Park Avenue Armory. As fans step into the Grand Hall, they are greeted by a feature ceiling resembling the night sky, with a mottled paint finish and embedded LEDs.

Moving into the main concourse, Jump Studios pays tribute to Metro New York. An articulated colonnade runs throughout the arena echoing the arches of Central Park, whilst tile designs inspired by the New York subway line the walls. The arena’s food offering includes 18 market-style concessions, based on the City’s colorful kiosks that are a feature throughout Belmont Park. The upper concourse bars draw upon elements of Metro New York’s industrial heritage, as seen in the Brooklyn Bridge-inspired intricate cable work. Even the restrooms pay homage to the City, with the signage employing the familiar font of the iconic New Yorker Magazine.

Jump Studios aims for UBS Arena to be more than a sport or music venue, but a complete fan experience in a beautiful space, employing the narrative storytelling also showcased in the practice’s work at the 62,850-capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, UK. The main concourse corridor resembles a gallery where artwork, illuminated by spotlights, tells stories of the rich history of Belmont Park and the New York Islanders team, and colorful lighting modes create atmospheric thresholds as fans walk through the space.

‘Populous’ further stated that the scheme also seeks to celebrate the legacy of historical figures. Harriet’s Bar honors Harriet Quimby, the first US woman to gain a pilot’s license after an aviation tournament at Belmont Park sparked her interest, while Eddie’s Bar celebrates Eddie D. Brown, who in 1870 became the first Black jockey to win the Belmont Stakes riding ‘Kingfisher’.

Reaching the upper concourse, history is celebrated once again, this time focusing on the stadium’s home team, the New York Islanders. Four banners hang above the arena’s main Tailgate bar, proudly showcasing the Islanders logo alongside photographs of Islanders supporters’ clubs from around the world.

Said Shaun Fernandes, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Jump Studios, “The inspiration behind UBS Arena centered on creating a space that offered a connection to the past by honoring the local history of Belmont Park and New York. By celebrating the area’s unique stories, including those of the New York Islanders, we aimed to create an arena that brings together the local community and establishes the venue as a high-quality destination for a number of different entertainment experiences.”

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